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Setting Goals and Objectives

When establishing a budget, it is very important to set goals and desires. Because they are the things you want to do, it will be easier to stick to your budget so that you can fulfill those dreams. For instance, you may find it difficult to forego your daily on-the-way-to-work stop for a latte or some other expensive coffee drink. But, keep in mind that nixing that habit adds up to about $100 a month. The money saved can be used to pay for that trip to Jamaica you’ve always wanted to take.

Often, it is easier to achieve our desires if we differentiate between short term and long term. Goals are quantifiable, meaning they are measured in general terms (e.g., I want to make sure that all of my family’s needs are met. Objectives are quantifiable, meaning they can be measured by a specific number or amount (e.g., I want to have $250,000 in my IRA when I retire at age 62).

Prepare Your Own Budget

In order to complete this section, you will prepare two budgets. Use the first budget to assess how you spend your money right now. Enter the income and expenses that accurately reflect how you spend your current status. Are there any areas where you spend money unnecessarily? Can you save money by cutting down on the amount you spend eating out? It costs about $10 to eat lunch everyday. That’s a whopping $200 per month! And, how necessary is it to have 100 premium cable or satellite TV channels?

Study this assessment budget for areas to cut and SLASH, SLASH, SLASH!

The second budget is your baseline budget. After you enter your income, enter your new budget which reflects your new expenses. You might be pleasantly surprised to see that you have more income than you thought. Now the hard part begins. It may hurt now but the benefits will far outweigh the pain once you accomplish your goals. Work hard to stick to your budget every month. If you fall off the wagon, don’t throw in the towel. Get back up and continue forward.